Bulls Rumors: Latest Buzz on Possible Thaddeus Young Trade, Patrick Williams

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2020

Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young (21) handles the ball next to Washington Wizards guard Jerome Robinson (12) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls seem unlikely to make a major splash this offseason, outside of drafting Florida State wing Patrick Williams with the No. 4 overall pick. 

Not surprisingly, much of the buzz surrounding the team is connected to Williams and how his selection might impact the roster going forward.

We start with Thaddeus Young and Otto Porter Jr., who The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry speculated could be on the trade block to get Williams more playing time:

"As the Bulls continue to remake the roster, one or both could be prime candidates to be moved for future assets. Porter is now on an expiring contract and, when healthy, is among the best perimeter shooters in the league. He remains an attractive asset. Meanwhile, trade rumors have swirled around Young for months, and multiple league insiders view a deal for the versatile power forward as inevitable. Williams' arrival certainly lends credence to that speculation. Unless the Bulls want Williams, 19, to be groomed slowly and learn from the bench, a move almost has to be made to free minutes for the team's fourth overall draft pick."

Given the rumors swirling around Young and the fact that Porter is the better and more versatile player, it seems more likely that if anybody is traded, it will be Young. The 32-year-old was solid in the 2019-20 season, averaging 10.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game. 

We know players like Zach LaVine, Coby White, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Porter and Williams are going to get minutes. Veterans like Tomas Satoransky, Luke Kornet, Garrett Temple and Denzel Valentine will likely see time as well. Young's leadership and effort would be missed, but dealing him to free up minutes would make sense.

Certainly more sense than dealing the 27-year-old Porter. Certainly more sense than keeping Williams rooted to the bench.

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Yes, the Bulls probably could be in the running for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. But Williams' growth is more important. Chicago should get Williams game time and let the rookie take his lumps.

Maximizing his potential is paramount. And there might be a whole lot of potential there. As Bulls writer Sam Smith reported, "One scout told me he believes in five years Williams will be the best player from this draft."

Williams athleticism and his potential to grow into an impactful three-and-D wing in a league that craves them could translate into stardom. Or it could translate into him being a role player. The sooner the Bulls can assess which direction he's likely to head, the sooner they can evaluate their needs in the rebuilding/retooling process. 

If a player like Young is going to block Williams from seeing the court—and if the Bulls can get assets or young players in exchange for flipping him to a contender—they should seriously consider it.